The NFL Players Association announced Wednesday that it is conducting its own investigation of the NFL’s handling of the Ray Rice situation, led by Richard Craig Smith of Norton Rose Fulbright.
“The NFLPA has retained Richard Craig Smith, Head of Regulatory and Governmental Investigation, United States of Norton Rose Fulbright to conduct our investigation surrounding the due process, discipline, facts and conduct of the NFL League Office and Baltimore Ravens resulting in the indefinite suspension of Ray Rice. As a former federal prosecutor, Mr. Smith brings tremendous experience and expertise. The NFLPA will request that the NFL and the Baltimore Ravens cooperate in the interest of transparency. This investigation will run parallel to Rice’s appeal.”
The yellow line extends away from tight end Julius Thomas and he is going to run right behind Demaryius Thomas and head inside to block Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor.
The interaction between the New Orleans Saints and their fans is indeed intense. I will easily credit the team with helping this city rebound from the flooding and devastation that followed Hurricane Katrina. These men are members of our community. Part of their charge has been to be engaged and participate in the rebuilding of New Orleans. But, see, that’s what bonds us to them so intensely. When you are able to feel good about your team, you are connected and committed to them.
I have never seen the NFL promote anything but the NFL. A trade organization they are not.
And that’s what the NFL seems to be missing in the big picture of all of this. Sure it’s a business. Sure it’s big money. But if that is all it is to the league office, they are missing the potential for deeper goodwill and loyalty. The game can fund itself. They do not need taxpayers to do that. Dropping the tax-exempt status would be an immediate benefit to taxpayers, of course, but it would also give the NFL a better name. Are they protecting the shield or are they protecting the bottom line?
I think they have confused one to mean the other. They are banking that our love for our teams is strong enough that we won’t focus on what the league office is doing, but I think if we have learned anything in the last few weeks, it’s that their belief that they’ve insulated themselves is incorrect.